We’re at the halfway mark for 2012 and already, there have been artists who came back after just a few months while other artists came back after a year of not promoting on the Korean scene. But whose comeback made quite the impact amongst the other comebacks and debuts?
TEEN TOP (Going Crazy)
TEEN TOP has already made two comebacks this year, but instead of their most recent song “To You,” their comeback with “Going Crazy” made an impact and lasting impression as they began to showcase their charms from teenagers to young adults. “Going Crazy” was an upgraded look and sound from “No More Perfume On You.” In addition, fans got to hear more from each member and each member shone during his part. In addition, this song earned the group their first #1 award (and gave them the title of the youngest group to ever win #1).
INFINITE (The Chaser)
Aside from the MV plotline that made no sense, “The Chaser” is INFINITE’s first song since their successful promotions with “Be Mine” and “Paradise” from last summer. The summer of 2011 was INFINITE’s breakthrough as they earned their first awards as well. And with their wins with “The Chaser” earlier this year, the wins cemented INFINTE’s place as one of the top groups out there, thanks to their singing and synchronized dancing. Inspirits can expect greater things from INFINITE in the future.
Shinhwa holds the record for being the longest running group that has stuck together through the ups-and-downs and the military enlistments. Standing at 14 years and still going strong, Shinhwa returned with their 10th album “The Return” earlier this year and though they may not have won any awards, Shinhwa is still considered to be legends, as they are highly respected and regarded in the KPOP music world. “Venus” is a catchy and addictive song, with an equally compelling choreography.
Despite only having fewer than 10 million views since March, SHINee’s comeback was much anticipated since their last Korean release was in October of 2010. SHINee never fails to show off their funky and colorful outfits and exhausting choreography and it showed with “Sherlock.” SHINee still remained themselves, only an upgraded version of themselves, and showed us flawless live performances, with the dance and singing. It’s a hard feat to accomplish but these boys just know to pull it off.
4minute (Volume Up)
4minute returned earlier this year with “Volume Up,” with a much more elegant vampiric look and sound. For half of the song, the melody was more mellow than previously heard in their songs - the image associated with 4minute is normally more fierce. But with this song, 4minute showed that they didn’t need to rely on the loud songs to be memorable - in fact, this song stuck in my head more than their previous songs. Gotta thank that saxophone!
I will be forthright - I’ve never been a fan of SISTAR, mainly because Hyorin’s powerful voice seems to drown out her members whenever they’re singing and their dances always seem to be the same. But with this song, Hyorin’s voice matched better with her fellow members’ voices, allowing me to enjoy the song without Hyorin overpowering everyone else. Still not a big fan of the dance but their song is pleasant to listen to and really brings out the girls’ vocals. It’s quite catchy to listen to and is definitely one of their better songs.
BIG BANG (FANTASTIC BABY
Bring on the swag, the confidence, the…weirdness? “FANTASTIC BABY” is definitely one of BIG BANG’s more unique and weirder songs to date (coupled with the MV), at least until “Monster” came out a bit later. 2011 was a stressful year for BIG BANG, having to deal with a couple incidents but the group was able to regroup to bring something new to the table. BIG BANG is not one to conform to KPOP trends and they have set their own style, one that will always be remembered. “FANTASTIC BABY” embodies their swag and allows the members to display their confidence and who can forget the deadpan delivery of “Wow, Fantastic Baby” from TOP?
f(x) (Electric Shock)
Like INFINITE last year, f(x) saw their first awards with song “Pinocchio (Danger)” followed by “Hot Summer.” As the female counterpart to SHINee, the girls are always as quirky as ever, especially with their electrifying blue contacts. “Electric Shock” is the funky, yet addictive song that will have you jiving to the song in no time at all. Though “Electric Shock” may not be their best song to date, it still ranks high.
Wonder Girls (Like This)
The Wonder Girls came back in June with a fun song and dance that just anyone and their moms can dance to. It’s a lighthearted dance with a party-like sound. It’s perfect to dance to at a club and with the simple dance, you’ll surely have fun dancing with your friends. The Wonder Girls did a fantastic job interacting with the crowd that danced with them and they have another fun hit on their hands!
With more exciting comebacks set in store for the remainder of the year (such as Super Junior, 2NE1, BEAST and more), 2012 is shaping up to be quite the year! Which comebacks did you think were the best?
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